Photographing Kingfishers

For years many have believed that wildlife photography is a black art reserved for the “long lens brigade”. While this is the case in some circumstances, such as raptors in flight, when photographing Kingfishers, nothing could be further from the truth.

My perches are about  3 to 4 metres from the hides, so massive lenses such as a 600mm F4 have no real advantage. In fact, trends have now changed from filling the frame to environmental portraiture showing wildlife in its surroundings.

With the birds being so close, depth of field can be critical so wide apertures (F2.8-F4) are not necessary. I prefer to shoot at around F8 –F11. This gives me adequate depth of field yet still allows good separation from the background.

If you use a modern Digital SLR with a 1.5 chip factor, a lens reaching 300mm is fine. Canon’s 100-400mm, Nikon’s 80-400mm and Sigma’s 50-500mm are all brilliant.

Try out you own gear on garden birds. Great Tits are about an inch shorter than Kingfishers whereas Starlings are around two inches bigger.

Should you need it, I have a wide range of Nikon equipment for hire.